We finally made it to our first stop in Louisiana! It is a nice little RV park in the country. Like it’s full of country folk and littered with crawfish. Everyone here is a snowbird right now. The park owners have serious heavy Mississippi accents, but everybody else is from Minnesota and New York, which is a little jarring.
We took the opportunity while we were here to try out the snowbird life and went to some of their social activities, basically winning some of their bingo money off them.
In addition to the old people and Bingos, there were many crawfish. There were hundreds and hundreds of little mud piles where the crawfish had dug holes; they didn’t have grass or rocks or shrubs; instead, they had crawfish mud piles.
Since the drive here wasn’t too bad, we spent the afternoon and went into Old Town Bay St. Louis, where we hung out at a three-story bar-type place, listened to live music, and did some people-watching.
Besides hanging out in the country, the main event of his stop is Mardi Gras in New Orleans. We went once on Sunday to see what we were getting ourselves into, and then we took Fat Tuesday off to see the "main event."
It's the first time they’ve had Mardi Gras since Covid, so we're told the crowds were a lot more tame than usual.
For Sunday, we went and parked near a place called Audubon Park. It’s pretty far from the French Quarter, so we figured it would be reasonably safe, and they would be plenty of parking. We were right about that. We didn’t realize that on this side of the Mardi Gras parades, it’s more of a family affair.
They were just as many beads and floats as you would expect. By the end of the day, the crowds packed the sidewalks so tightly you could barely move. But instead of drunks and boobies, it was small children sitting on top of ladders so they could see. They still through all weird kinds of beads and collectible items. We caught a lot of coins and fancy beads made out of dice. Of course, we also caught some plastic boobs.
Towards the end of the day, when it got dark, it got exciting. The last Krew of the day, Krew of Bacchus, was after sunset, and nearly everything they tossed lit up or glowed in some way. So Melissa and I and everyone around us were covered in blinking lights, decorative hearts, and other random shapes. It was a lot of fun seeing the weirdest thing you could catch.
On Tuesday, the parades were longer and bigger and had twice as many people. But it was much of the same thing. If you want the authentic Mardi Gras craziness, you need to experience the night parades in the French Quarter. People flashing each other to get beads doesn’t happen during the parades; it happens in the French Quarter when you have drunks on the rooftops tossing beads to the crowds in the streets. Melissa and I are not big drinkers, so we did not stick around for that craziness.
During the week, after working hours, we took one day and went to the local Silver Slippers casino. I lost a couple of hundred dollars at Roulette, and Melissa managed to gain a couple hundred dollars at slots. So we got the afternoon drinks and games for free.
On our way out of Mississippi/Louisiana, we took I10 west to Houston. It is easily the worst highway we’ve driven on so far. The road was split 50-50 between potholes and an actual drivable road. And I think I’m being generous.
We spent one night at Vermilionville historical museum as a harvest host. The road somehow worsened when we took a slight detour off the interstate. But as a bonus, the museum was having a little jam session where a bunch of locals brought authentic colonial time instruments, guitars, fiddles, accordions, etc., and just played whatever music they felt like. It was very relaxed and genuine, but other than that, we pretty much just slept in the camper.
We are sick of the humidity.